Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More of a Rules Follower Than We Thought

While at the pool, little tweets surround us - a child is running across the pool deck, big kids are dunking each other, someone brings food into the pool area. Connor always looks up at the lifeguard when he hears this sound, and Ed or I always assure him that everything is fine, someone is probably just running. As we prepared to make our movie, Connor half walked, half skipped up to the board. Not enough to earn a tweet, mind you. He was very excited when it was finally his turn to jump.

Only there was a problem.

Connor had decided to change one element in his jump from the previous day. He decided to wear goggles so that when he started swimming he could see better.

Goggles are not allowed on the diving board. I had no idea. Connor had no idea. Ed knew, but he was in the little pool with Helen.

As Connor mounted the board, he heard the familiar tweet. Only this time, for the first time ever, when Connor looked up, the lifeguard was looking at him and said "no goggles on the diving board" in a very casual tone. Only what Connor heard was something more like "Little kid - you there - the rule breaker. How could you be so stupid as to climb up the diving board with goggles on. That is the most ridiculous thing that has ever been attempted at our pool and you are the only person dumb enough to do such a thing. Go away. Go far away."

And Connor was mortified. He melted. He slumped off the board crying so hard he couldn't form a sentence. He buried his head in my lap and after sobbing for a few seconds, he finally uttered "I want to go home right now". And then he screamed repeatedly, broken up only by his sobbing "I want to go home RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW." And at this point, I think every parent in the pool was looking at me, and I'm pretty sure they were probably thinking "You there, with the video camera, don't you know your kid is too little to go off the diving board. Why are you forcing him to do something so terrifying?". I carried Connor to the shallow end of the pool and told him that we weren't leaving because Helen, Daddy, and I still wanted to swim. I offered that he could hang out in a chair if he wanted or that we could go in the shallow end together and look at each other underwater with our goggles on. And then I told him to discuss it with his dad because nothing I was saying was improving the situation.

Ed gave him a hug, and then Connor decided we should look at each other underwater. Only as soon as he looked at me, he started swimming across the pool, and then he saw the diving board and shouted "I want to go off the diving board", and he tossed his goggles, and I dashed for my camera (not sure if I was the runner they were tweeting at or not, but I wasn't going to look back now!). And this is probably the millionth time in the last four years that I have wanted to understand the mood swings of a child, and I also considered adding "manic depressive" to the list of conditions (which currently includes OCD) I should be sure NOT to mention to any school counselors.

And now I present to you, the jump.

When Connor watched the video, he laughed. When he watched the one where you can hear the lifeguard tweet at him (not present here), he asked "where is the part where I'm crying?".

So maybe he just has a feel for adding dramatic flair to movies?


  1. That jump is seriously awesome and so, so cool.

  2. Sometimes I like to misbehave in the pool just to see if the lifeguards are paying attention. I'll try jumping off the diving board with my goggles next time.

  3. awesome job little man. I guess now you are a big man.

  4. I am so glad you caught this on film! Great to watch. Way to go!

  5. Wow, you really are the big boy around here, Connor!

  6. Fabulous jump and what a great recovery from the trauma. Nice work Connor!